Yesterday, Eva Kjer Hansen (Liberal), the Danish Minister for Environment and Food, visited Aarhus for the topping-out ceremony of Egå Renseanlæg treatment plant; the first in the world to produce 50% more electricity than it uses.
A large number of water-treatment plants, both in Denmark and abroad, must be transformed from energy guzzlers to energy producers. This will be through entirely new technologies that exploit the green energy-production potentials in wastewater. Total energy renovation of the treatment plant at Egå, just outside Aarhus, means that Aarhus Vand (a Danish water utility) is setting new standards for developing treatment plants into energy producers.
The topping-out is a milestone in the technological development of treatment plants towards becoming energy producers. And not only in Denmark, but throughout the world. When the treatment plant at Egå is in full operation in autumn 2016, it will be producing 50% more electricity than it consumes. This has never been seen before.
– Repercussions from this will not only be heard in Denmark, but they will very much resound in the rest of the world. This topping-out marks the conclusion of a long and exciting process of innovation, in which there were originally 63 ideas from Denmark and abroad to establish ‘the energy-producing treatment plant of the future’. The new plant at Egå will be completed on the basis of this innovative approach to developing new water technology and it’s the very nice result of unique and fruitful collaboration between two companies, Envidan and Per Aarsleff, and the Aarhus Vand utility company, says Lars Schrøder, CEO at Aarhus Vand.
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The Minister for Environment and Food, Eva Kjer Hansen, held a speech at the ceremony, and she said this about the perspectives:
– Treatment plants must move forward from being energy guzzlers to being energy producers, and we have a really good example of this here at Egå. This is an area in which Denmark can enhance and develop its position in eco-technology. There is a vision to double exports from the sector by 2025, and to create up to 4,000 new jobs in the water sector, says the Minister.
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Energy-neutral and CO2-neutral by 2030
Aarhus Vand’s strategy is to be energy-neutral and CO2-neutral by 2030 at the latest. By no later than 2016, all of the company’s water-treatment plants must be supplying green energy to the electricity and heat grids, and the plant at Egå will be supplying green energy at competitive prices. The plant will act as a demonstration plant to showcase the newest technological advances to Danish and foreign experts and decision makers with an interest in energy optimisation and energy production.